Defensive driving tips can be hard to come by, but there are some basics to keep in mind. For those unfamiliar with the term, defensive driving refers to the ability to not only drive carefully, but also anticipate the bad habits of other drivers. Though it can be easy to get caught up in road rage, defensive drivers tend to get in fewer accidents.
According to How Stuff Works, one of the most important things to do is avoid driving while impaired in any way. You’ve heard it a thousand times before, but this doesn’t necessarily refer to just alcohol and drugs. Naturally, you should get a designated driver if you are intoxicated; however, you should also avoid driving when tired, angry, or distracted. Impaired refers to more than just drunk driving.
Next, avoid speeding. Few people admit to breaking the speed limit, but most drivers are guilty of this. Speed limits aren’t entirely arbitrary—they’re set at specific speeds to help you improve fuel economy and stay safe behind the wheel. Take a deep breath and slow down—that’s what any defensive driver would do.
Finally, leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. Tailgating is an especially aggressive form of driving, but many other drivers simply follow too closely. You should leave about 3 to 4 seconds of space between you and another driver—more in bad weather.
Keep these defensive driving tips in mind the next time you’re behind the wheel. Don’t drive while impaired or tired, avoid speeding, and be sure to leave plenty of following distance.